According to a recent City of Minneapolis press release, the $65 million renovation of 1,303 affordable housing units at the iconic Riverside Plaza is now complete. The renovation is one of the largest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-supported projects in the country.
An event was held at Riverside Plaza October 10 to celebrate the revitalization of the property. The housing unit improvements include upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems that will extend the lifespan of the property for another 40 years. The exterior and site work focused on returning much of Riverside Plaza to its original 1970s appearance.
The two-year construction period provided 200 construction jobs, 90 of which were reserved for Minneapolis residents with an emphasis on hiring Riverside Plaza residents and residents of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. During the peak of the renovation, over 70 Riverside Plaza residents and 105 Minneapolis residents were working at the site.
“Riverside Plaza is a Minneapolis icon, and this renovation is not only a significant benefit for residents, it restores a landmark to its full glory for all of us,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak. “With the completion of this important project — along with the remake of Riverside Avenue, critical investments in hospitals and institutions of higher learning, the ongoing vibrancy of this diverse community, and the arrival of the Green Line light rail — the West Bank is rapidly becoming the most dynamic neighborhood in Minnesota.”
“Riverside Plaza represents our commitment to providing quality affordable housing and building strong communities,” said George Sherman, president/owner of Sherman Associates, Inc. “Through our 35 years of experience in financing and redevelopment, we were able to accomplish one of the most significant historic rehabilitations in the country.”
The renovation is part of a $134 million refinance package. Approximately 88 percent of the project cost is financed with private funds. Public financing of the project includes $1.9 million approved by the Minneapolis City Council in November 2010 and funding from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County and Family Housing Fund.
For more information on the renovation of Riverside Plaza, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/cped/projects/cped_riverside_plaza.